People of all ages need exercise, but not all types of exercise are suitable for everyone. As people get older, they can sometimes have a difficult time finding exercise that is comfortable for them. If you have questions or concerns before starting any new kind of physical activity, consult with your doctor. Skill and mobility levels help determine what types of exercise are best for you. There are two major categories of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Within these categories, everyone can find fun activities to stay healthy.
Aerobic exercise is recommended for people of all ages, and especially the elderly. Aerobic exercise is the movement of large muscles in your arms, legs, and hips. This type of activity increases blood flow and endorphins.
Aerobic activities can range from low-impact to high-intensity. For beginners or people with conditions like arthritis, low-impact exercise like swimming and walking are a great place to start. Once you increase your skill level or want a challenge, cycling, skiing, and rowing can be done.
Anaerobic exercise is high intensity. Unlike the paced exercise of aerobic activities, anaerobic activities are done in short, quick bursts. Instead of using the body’s fat for energy, this type of exercise uses the body’s carbohydrates stored in the muscles.
Sprinting, weightlifting, and sports like tennis and football are all anaerobic exercises. Because all of these exercises rapidly increase your heart rate, consult a doctor to determine if it is safe. For those who want to try anaerobic activity start with easier exercises like jump rope and work up to things like strength training.
Exercising doesn’t – and shouldn’t – have to stop just because you get older. There are plenty of activities for people of all mobility and skill levels. If you are starting to exercise after a long period of inactivity, begin slowly. Start with low-impact activities, then try adding in more intense exercises. A doctor can help you determine where you should begin.